Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    I thought it would be interesting to share our "go-to" places when wanting to dine out with LO in tow. By family-friendly, I mean establishments that welcome and accomodate infants gladly, not necessarily places that cater to children (like Chuck E Cheese).

    Our first choice is usually Legal's. We ate lunch there when DS was 2 weeks and we've gone back countless times since (including our post-baptism family dinner, Valentine's Day, etc.) We are always seated thoughtfully where DS and his highchair (and diaper bag) can be tucked out of the servers' way. They have the awesome highchairs that accomodate a car seat. All the staff have always been super friendly, coming by to see the baby and chat with us about him. It's so great to be able to enjoy a nice meal and feel comfortable having DS with us.

    What restaurants do the rest of you recommend? Let's give some good publicity to the family-friendly places!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    I second Legal Seafoods. They are great. I've been pleasantly surprised at how good the 99's are. They are the first place that offered (without our asking) to bring DD order out as soon as it was ready vs. with our meal. It actually made the whole proccess so much smoother, since I had a chance to feed her part of her dinner before mine came, so she was calmer, and I got to eat my food while it was still hot. We also love going to Dim Sum at China Pearl in Quincy - it is filled with families, often multi-generations, the whole food on carts thing means you get food quickly, DD could eat her weight in noodles, in general, a win.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    Good post!

    Anyone have any recommendations for restaurants that have areas that make breastfeeding infants easy?  My DD is 3 months and DH and I have gone out with her, but I usually BF in the car before/after the meal.  It would be nice not to have to do that. 

    Also, what's with some places not having a baby changing table in the restroom?  So annoying! 

    Bleh!  The things you have to deal with when you have a baby! ;)
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    Trouble, DH & I just did a road trip with DS down to North Carolina and back. I'd say that 9 out of 10 restaurants that we stopped at only had changing tables in the women's room and a few didn't have them at all. Made me realize how generally spoiled we are up here.

    We stopped at a Wendy's in NC right off the highway. There was no changing table and no other workable space, so we headed to the supermarket next door. There was a changing table in the women's room, but there was no men's room. Huh? Guess men in NC don't change babies OR go to the supermarket. :)
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    I agree Legals is a go to place.

    Cheesecake factory-we don't wait. They have a kids plate for free, bananas and bread they bring quickly. It's also louder here-so if DS is fussing, it's easy to disguise it from others.

    Nordstrom's Cafe-quick decent food.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    We were at Not Your Average Joe's yesterday at lunch time and we were practically the only people without a baby or toddler.  (Since ours is still in utero!)  I have been at dinner time, too, and there were lots of little ones.  This one in particular (Medford) seems to have a lot of space to navigate high chairs and strollers -- not too cramped like a lot of other restaurants in our area.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    I think Bertucci's is great - That is one of our go to places for lunch on the weekends.  I love that it can be a nice meal with salad and a drink, but it is also just loud enough there that if DD yelps its not a big deal. 
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    Nothing beats FULL MOON! It's the only place I can really relax during meals with my daughter. As an active toddler, she's not happy in her seat for long periods of time. They always bring her food immediately, and when she's finished she can hit the play area and we can eat. And mommy can have a beer. I love Full Moon.

    Trouble, what are your criteria? I breastfed everywhere and was only made to feel uncomfortable once -- at Turner's in Melrose. The staff was accomodating enough, but a couple of the patrons gave me grief. I'm super ornery, so it only made me more determined. But you have the legal right to breastfeed in any public establishment in Massachusetts.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from jag27. Show jag27's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    We meet with another for dinner about every 4-6 weeks and we pick restaurants that are family friendly as they have an 18 month and a 3 yo.  We really like Prince Pizza in Saugus the kids could get up and move around.  It does get busy and loud in there, but didn't have worry about waitresses and the pizza is pretty good.

    We also had a great experience at the On The Border in Woburn as their high chairs go right into the booth and not out in the way.  DD could be her loud self and no worries about disturbing other dinners.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    Our other favorite place is Soundbites in Somerville. It's not a kid-centered restaurant like Full Moon, but the food is great and the service is amazing. We and another couple walked into Sunday brunch rush with two babies (6 and 9 months) and two strollers, and the staff mobilized. Within 30 seconds they had a big table right by the bathroom with high chairs and stroller parking. They were super nice. And it's loud in there, so the babies were entertained and nobody could hear them squawking.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    Lemon -  I'm not really sure what my criteria for BF in public is!  I think I'd feel very self-conscious doing it at my table in a restaurant even if I have the right to.  Maybe if other BFing moms were with me it'd be different.  So I guess either I need to get over it or do it in my car!

    Kiwi - LOL about the changing tables not being in men's rooms.  I was shocked when my DH told me that they do sometimes have them in the men's room!  I'm amazed enough if they have them in the ladies!  I guess I haven't taken DD out too many times, but I had to change her in a backroom at our favorite Irish pub in Medway (they were nice enough to let me) and I was also dismayed to find out that Finale in Boston didn't have a changing table.  Both of these restaurants have huge private bathrooms as well and could totally fit changing tables in them. I guess they don't get a lot of baby patrons!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    Well, the Friday's in Everett (near the Babies R Us and Target) has the largest concentration of breastfeeding mothers I've ever seen in my life. It was a sea of Bebe au Laits in there. Of course, the downside is that it's a Friday's.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from JACON. Show JACON's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    I totally agree that both Bertucci's and Not Your Average Joe's are baby friendly. They are both loud enough that you don't have to worry if the baby fusses and you can get a decent meal.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    We find the 99 out here in the burbs to be good with kids

    also we just went to Friendly's this weekend for lunch (never been there before) and it wasn't half bad

    We also find Panera to be a good lunch or on the road spot
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from AnnFox8011. Show AnnFox8011's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    For us, we had a HORRIBLE Full Moon experience. The service was beyond terrible, and it ruined our meal for us. We'd never go back--that was how bad the service was that day for us. We've thought about trying it again, but for me the experience was so bad it's not worth the risk.

    We love the Cheesecake Factory--but you have to remember to bring crayons for a toddler/preschooler since they don't have any. They have a great kid's menu as well, and the services is always fantastic.

    We also LOVE Chipotle Mexican Grill--thier kids' menu is the best/healthiest I've ever seen. Between the organic milk, no-fries-in-sight menu, healthy entree options, great prices, and plates with separate compartments for picky eaters, you can't go wrong.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    Lauren, give Full Moon another shot -- I've always had amazing service there. Maybe your server just got stung by a bee. It's certainly not the norm.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from msol. Show msol's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    kiwigal,
    I'm about to take a road trip to NC w/my DS (he'll be 7 months at the time) and am a little nervous about how he'll do on the ride. We're hoping to leave around his bedtime so he'll sleep a couple hours, any other suggestions to make the ride a smooth one?
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    msol--good luck with your trip. We were very happy and grateful that DS did really great on the road trip. (His biggest meltdown was driving through the Holland Tunnel into Hoboken...I don't blame him one bit. ;)

    We did only daytime driving, so we planned to leave in the am just as he was ready for a nap. He often slept, but not always or for as long as he would typically. We'd also do a late lunch to help set up an afternoon nap, too. Luckily he enjoys the car and his toys so he was able to amuse himself for pretty good stretches. If he was getty fussy and we weren't close to stopping for lunch or getting to our hotel, I would hop in the back seat to "play" or give him a snack/water. We stopped way more than we would have if it was just the two of us, but it was OK.

    I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well your LO copes!
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from somerville-mom. Show somerville-mom's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    We have had great experience's at Not Your Average Joe's as well.  They are very accommodating to families.  The 99 is also very friendly to families - they bring the kid's food first if you like.

    I have to add that we've had 2 terrible Full Moon experiences - awful service and so-so food.  I gave it a second chance and will never go again.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from rysmom. Show rysmom's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    We don't head out much but when we do it is to pretty much the same places as everyone else has mentioned (Friendlys, 99, Panera, Bertucci's).  My kids favorite (they are 2 and almost 6 so they have opinions) is Friendly's.  They walk around singing the jingle all the time.  Another favorite is Moe's Southwest Grill.  I am not sure if there are any of those east of Shrewsbury though.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from hotcinnababy. Show hotcinnababy's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    We live in Woburn, so here's my list of local places that we frequent with our toddler and things have been pretty good (and I am all for starting the petition for changing tables in every restaurant with an accessible rest room! - though that still leaves out pretty much most of downtown Boston which is a HUGE challenge for us city lovers!).

    Chipotle - it's quick, they have high chairs, but no changing area

    Bertucci's - I believe you can call ahead now, so no waiting (I hate wasting the patience of a toddler in the waiting area!) and they have lots of room (commerce way location)

    On the Border - someone already mentioned - though they don't have unseasoned chicken except if you order off the kids menu, and baby girl wastes lots of food when we order for her, but the kids meals are cheap.  I'm not so into the booth high chairs, as they have become just a toy to jump in and out of - I usually ask for one of the regular ones when possible.

    Margaritas in Bedford - we were there last weekend - fabulous and not crowded for lunch.

    Tanner Tavern - lots of space and there was lots going on and to look at.  A seat by the window kept our girl yelling "truck" as traffic passed by.

    Ixtapa in Woburn center - always quick, though my husband likes their food way more than I do.  They have plenty of room and my daughter loves sitting near the door and saying hi and bye to everyone.

    Our city mainstay - Kinsale (across from City Hall)- we can always find something pretty fast, they have lots of room during the day, and while they don't have a changing area, the restaurant is pretty big so it was a great place to take a stroll when little girl started to get antsy and storing the stroller isn't a problem.

    Our best bet - we eat at off times (at least with a toddler we get up earlier, so by 11:30am, we're all ready for lunch on a Saturday).  We go out for lunch more often than dinner, mostly because I don't like dinner at 5pm and little girl can't hang on in a restaurant much later in the day.  We don't attempt a late lunch if she didn't nap.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    We went to the Green Briar in Brighton last night. It was great! We sat outside on the patio, so the kid could do a little accidental spilling without it being a horrible disaster, and when she got crabby we let her go free-range (we went early, around 5, so we were the only ones there). The staff was super accomodating and nice, and there was a kid's menu. The grownup food was very good too.
    http://www.greenbriarpub.com/greenbriarpub/
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    The Green Briar...brings back happy memories of my first apartment when I moved to Boston! Nice to hear it's still a good place.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    kiwi, that's so funny, it brings back memories of MY first apartment when I moved to Boston, too!
    great suggestion, lemon, and I think they still have "sessions" on certain days of the week if anyone has a little one who loves music.  Not sure what time they are, though.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Family Friendly Restaurant Hall of Fame

    We were pretty surprised that they had a kid's menu. They also had plastic covered cups with big bendy straws, and placemats with kid stuff on them. It's like they were waiting for us.

    We were pretty broken up when the Common Ground went south, so the Green Briar might be our new family pub. We like to pretend we're European-style parents who can have a life and a child at the same time.
     
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